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The crazy mixed up world of blind dating

I have been single now for a year and a half and have taken the leap into the unknown waters of the dating world. Remember, I am 55. The last time I had a first date, I was 18 years old. Back in those days we went to bars, we met at school, we had lots of single friends with single friends. Finding a reasonable date was relatively easy. Finding a reasonable date at age 55 is a little more challenging.

I am always up front and make sure a potential date knows that I am blind. I always offer two choices - they can run away, as long as they are not carrying scissors, hedge clippers, or chain saws - or they can ask any and all questions they may have. Some run, some ask questions:

  • Do you make your own bed?
  • Who cooks for you?
  • How do you know what clothes you are wearing?
  • How do you know if your clothes match?
  • How do you know what room you are in?
  • Does your dog tell you when it’s time to wake up?
  • How much better is your hearing now?
  • What do blind people do for fun?
  • I can’t see a thing without my glasses, so I know how it is
  • How do you know where you are going?
  • How do you know when you get where you want to go?
  • Who reads to you?
  • Do you want to feel my face?
  • Are you allowed to drive?
  • How awful is it to be blind?
  • How do blind people have sex?
  • Does that mean I don’t have to blindfold you? (there’s a red flag if I ever saw one!)
  • Do you go to movies?
  • How do you know what you want to eat at a restaurant?
  • Do you go to hockey games / baseball games / music conerts / live theatre?

I understand the questions are based on ignorance and/or naivete, and each question provides an opportunity to educate someone and teach them that blindness is not a debilitating disability, it is simply part of who I am. I believe I have a choice: I can let my vision loss determine how I manage to live my life or I can let how I live my life determine how I manage vision loss. I choose the latter. And no thank you, I don’t want to feel your face - perhaps another time.

Disclaimer:

This blog is curated by the AEBC, but welcomes contributions from members and non-members alike. The thoughts, views, and opinions expressed in the Blind Canadians Blog are those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the AEBC, its members, or any of its donors and partners.

Comments

It is difficult to get out there as a visually impaired or blind person. Because I have some sight, I don't get most of the questions you listed, but I have to put up with the comment about not seeing without glasses all the time. I like to tell them that my vision with all possible correction is probably similar to theirs with no correction. And yet, I am independent, smart, educated, employed, fun, active, and interesting. The education of people with no previous disability experience is an ongoing process for sure!

Hugh:
Very well said. Is it worth the time to educate? Hopefully it will be worth the effort

Psychologists, who clearly need to get out more, have done a lot of research into the role that body language and visual cues play in the date "game". I am not aware of anyone who has given thought to the challenge blind people face in seeking out companions. The old standby of an introduction seems the only first step but it is often a false step when our well meaning friends try to choose for us. Many blind people date each other simply because we have much in common. Many blind people meet at work or at play just as do sighted people. Difficult as it is to remember, all sighted people start off ignorant of blindness and we just have to be patient and decide whether they are worth the time it will take to educate them. Some women tell me its just like meeting men, how trainable are we and are we really worth the effort. Just kidding folks. I think we are usually worth the effort.